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Saving Money at Delaware Neighborhood Pharmacies

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Chains aren’t always cheapest. Sometimes, the little guy offers lower prices. Here are some of the ways consumers can save at their community pharmacy:

Manufacturers’ coupons
Drug makers frequently offer promotional deals for patients who use their medications. The rub is few consumers are aware of the opportunity. At Georgetown Pharmacy, owner Tejas Sheth is proactive about helping people save money. “We go online to look for manufacturer’s coupons for our patients,” he says. “We might be able to save them $15 on a $30 co-pay.”

Change a prescription
That pricey name drug costs more than a generic or another medication that offers the same benefits. Your pharmacist can suggest a less expensive alternative and speak with your doctor about giving you a new prescription. “A lot of medicines are very costly,” says Sheila Tucker of Market Street Pharmacy in Wilmington. “We try to get patients on the most cost-effective regimen.”

Compounding
Typically, compounding involves blending ingredients to create a special medicine. But compounding also can involve making generic medication, says Calvin Freedman, owner of SaveWay Compounding Pharmacy in Newark. A case in point is sildenafil citrate, originally developed to relax blood vessels in the lungs. It’s better known as the active ingredient in Viagra—“except it’s not nearly as expensive as Viagra.”

Comparison shopping
Like many independent drugstores, First State Pharmacy in North Wilmington buys from an industry wholesaler. The wholesaler helps owner Chas McCormick compare prices on everything from over-the-counter pain medications to Band-Aids to see how his price points stack up against competitors ranging from Walgreens to Target. “Usually, I can price my items at just a little bit less,” he says. “Customers are surprised—and happy.”

 

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